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The race is on for law firms to use AFAs and better align themselves with clients’ short- and long-term goals.

Top legal decision makers identify 70 of the 600 law firms serving large and Fortune 1000 clients as absolutely best at developing and implementing alternative fee arrangements. They point to 7 reasons these firms stand out:

  1. Partners are Authorized to Agree to an AFA
    No waiting for law firm committee meetings or management approvals. These partners can agree quickly. The negotiating partner also knows the parameters the firm will accept and approval is all but assured and swift.
  2.  Certain Comfort
    These firms know the ins and outs of successful AFAs. They have enough experience to anticipate the bumps in the road and how to handle – and allow for – the truly unexpected.
  3. Streamlined Approach
    Things just go smoother than other arrangements. Clients see law firms under AFAs as more focused, more decisive, and quicker to communicate.
  4. Offer It Up First
    The skilled firms offer an AFA as an option before clients ask. They’re quick to point out the benefits and take the time to explain how it works. Offering an AFA scores points for being client-focused and proactive – even when clients decline.
  5. Share the Strategy and Approach with the Fee
    The best clients want to know you benefit if they do. Clients want you to work smart and hard – and they see this in the strategy you propose along with your fee.
  6. Have Tight Project Controls and Share Them with Clients
    These law firms don’t go back and ask for fee changes unless there is a substantial change in facts. They use project managers to move matters along and introduce them to clients, explaining their pivotal role in meeting the fixed fee.
  7. Trust
    Every fixed fee relies on trust. Your clients have to believe you will deliver. You can gain this trust by developing an AFA with a client – but it’s best to walk in the door with a high-trust relationship.

Please join me in congratulating the following 70 firms clients identify as best at AFAs:

BTI AFA Powerhouse Law Firms

DLA Piper Ogletree Deakins
Jones Day Reed Smith
McGuireWoods Seyfarth Shaw

BTI AFA Standout Law Firms

Arnold & Porter Littler
Day Pitney Mayer Brown
Dentons McDermott Will & Emery
Foley & Lardner Morgan Lewis
Gibson Dunn Morrison & Foerster
Greenberg Traurig Sheppard Mullin
Holland & Knight Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Husch Blackwell Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

BTI AFA Distinguished Law Firms

Armstrong Teasdale Lathrop GPM
BakerHostetler Locke Lord
Baker Donelson Michael Best
Baker McKenzie Mintz
Bartlit Beck Nixon Peabody
Boies Schiller Flexner Orrick
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Perkins Coie
Carlton Fields Pillsbury
Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete Porzio, Bromberg & Newman
Covington Quarles & Brady
Crowell & Moring Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Duane Morris Sidley
ElevateNext Law Squire Patton Boggs
Epstein Becker Green Stinson
Eversheds Sutherland Thompson Hine
Faegre Drinker Torys
Haynes and Boone Troutman Sanders
Hinshaw & Culbertson Tucker Ellis
Hogan Lovells Ulmer
Holland & Hart Weil
Jones Walker White & Case
Kilpatrick Townsend Willkie
King & Spalding WilmerHale
Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker Wilson Sonsini

Clients point to midsize, global, and small firms as best at AFAs – showing the game for small and midsize firms isn’t over yet.

There’s nothing like certainty, a streamlined approach, and savings to make a law firm stand out.

Be well. Be safe.


The MAD Clientist

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